Grails - Doomsdayer
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Doomsdayer's Holiday

Starting off with a bang, Doomsdayer's Holiday continues the newfound prolific pace at which Grails has been releasing work over the course of the past couple years. In just over two years now, this will have been the third full-length from the group (following up on Black Tar Prophecies Vol's 1, 2, & 3 and Burning Off Impurities) and arrives only a half-year or so after their recent Take Refuge In Clean Living EP. In that time, the group has also been very consistent, pushing further into a riff-laden psych-rock realm where heady atmospheres collide with crushing blows.

Again teaming up with Faust collaborator Steven Wray Lobdell and Randall Dunn (Earth/Sunn O)))) for production, this seven song, thirty-eight minute release is easily the heaviest thing they've done to date. As mentioned above, the album-titled track kicks off the release, and after a sample of some bloodcurdling screams, the group launches into a doom-tastic lunge of huge guitars and haze that shoots things off some Lovecraftian land. "Reincarnation Blues" keeps things chugging with some Middle-Eastern influence and some fuzzed-out pysch guitar that cranks out some serious noise for the first half before dissolving into spacey ambience for the second.

There are cool sounds all over the place, but this is the first release by the group in some time that loses a bit of steam in the transitions. There are a couple occasions on the release where the group seems like they're building to a massive payoff but it never arrives, and other places where they simply discard previous melodies and shoot off in another direction. Fans of their more free-flowing work will probably feel like this is their best work to date, but along with a couple tracks that simply don't go much of anywhere ("The Natural Man" and "X-Contaminations"), the more bombastic moments get watered down even further. There's a lot of great moments here, but is the least consistent album from the group in awhile.

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2008-10-16 21:46:58